The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

Vick Got Lucky


Michael Vick got lucky on Thursday.

Somebody was going to sign him. It could have been an organization looking to put people in the stands or sell jerseys, with coaches and front office people who would wilt in the face of criticism.

Instead, he got the Eagles, who don't need his jersey sales, and who rarely, if ever, admit they were wrong.

When the worlds of sports and animal-rights activism collide at the team's headquarters in South Philadelphia on Friday, it's clear the Eagles will be prepared. This is 'the Big Game' that the franchise has been training for the last few years, from Terrell Owens doing situps on his front lawn to Garrett and Britt Reid dealing drugs and threatening motorists.

Everyone expected Eagles head coach Andy Reid, with his trademark gruffness, to postpone questions about the signing Michael Vick on Thursday night. It didn't happen. In fact, Reid was uncharacteristically candid. Even warm.

This is a clear indication that the Vick signing was a part of Reid's plan, a theory bolstered by his words during the press conference following the Eagles' first preseason game. The coach claimed he'd followed Vick's situation closely since it began, at about the same time as Reid's sons were running afoul of the law.

So, what seemed at first blush like a half-baked idea now seems like a deeply considered reclamation project.

Vick will still be an interesting fit in a place where any success at the quarterback position will likely be met with simpering insecurity by the franchise's best ever, Donovan McNabb. Reid declined to speculate on the nature of Vick's role in the Philadelphia offense, be it as a hybrid passer-running back or as a backup to No. 5.

On his best day, the former Falcon could not run an offense as complex and reliant on accurate short and mid-range passing as the Eagles'. Unless his jail cell was haunted by the ghost of Bill Walsh, he's not likely to be better after two seasons of atrophy.

The Eagles will likely use Vick out of the now-ubiquitous wildcat formation, but is he better suited to that role than wide receivers DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin? Maybe, maybe not.

Perhaps the Eagles decide to keep four quarterbacks on the roster, but Vick's spot will come at someone's expense, and that decision could cost Philadelphia down the road.

So it's pretty easy to criticize the Eagles' signing of Vick from a football standpoint. However, listening to the coach talk about second chances, the move seems human, even compassionate, and that's pretty hard to dump on.

By Sean McCann  |  August 14, 2009; 12:18 AM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Coaching , Crime , Michael Vick , Philadelphia Eagles , Quarterbacks , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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If he needs a rope to hang himself I will gladly send it to him.

That's all the "compassion" that POS deserves!

Posted by: Rubiconski | August 14, 2009 1:45 AM

We've all done things we're not proud of, and we've all been given a second chance we may or may not deserve.

I respect someone who accepts his punishment and admits his mistake willfully more than someone who tells others to "hang themselves."

Posted by: wlskehan | August 14, 2009 2:17 AM

Vick elecrocuted dogs by strapping batteries to their genitals.

Ever done that WLSKEHAN?

Just imagine the kind of disturbing mind you have to have to do what Michael Vick did.

He intentionally and brutally murdered an animal that could feel and love.

He electricuted them
He strangled them

He hung them

He drowned them

He fought with them

He tortured them

You do that to anyone or anything…

You do not deserve anything. chances, jobs, respect, amnesty..nothing!

It takes a very sick, twisted, and disgusting human being to do what Michael Vick did.

He now represents ALL Eagles fans!

Posted by: Rubiconski | August 14, 2009 4:20 AM

Vick is a poor excuse for a human being. I can no longer support a team that would take on such a scumbag. This second chance stuff is bull****. Andy Reid along with the Eagles owners are complete idiots for this one. Wait until his sons go to get a job and check that 'have you ever been convicted of a felony' box and then Andy will see how far second chances go in the real world and not in the anything goes world of the NFL. Vick deserves a second chance working at a fast food restaurant which is where most other convicted felons wind up having to work. There are good people in Philadelphia and I hope they make Vick's stay as big a hell for him as he made for the innocent dogs he helped kill. I have lost faith in the NFL's ability to deal with any of the criminals it harbors. Goodbye Eagles. I can no longer support you.

Posted by: RDBAUB | August 14, 2009 5:06 AM

I'm seeing so much hate and nastiness from animal (so-called) "lovers" that I don't see them as any better than those that promote dog fighting.

Posted by: charley42 | August 14, 2009 6:21 AM

From this day, the Eagles are dead to me. I will not attend, watch or listen to games; I will not purchase, wear or display Eagles merchandise. I will support any organization boycotting this sorry excuse for an NFL team.

Posted by: rittrohs | August 14, 2009 7:24 AM

The facts are clear: Mr. Vick participated in a six-year pattern of illegal activity. His plea clearly stated that along with these activities, he savagely electrocuted and beat dogs to death after they lost their brutal fights. This is barbarism. This was a multi-year pattern of behavior that demonstrates a startling lack of moral character and judgment. According to a Forbes magazine poll Vick tops the list of most hated athletes. More than seven in 10 people across the U.S. say they dislike him.

Here is a petition you should check out against Michael Vick benefiting from abusing dogs:

Posted by: just1ounce | August 14, 2009 10:46 AM

I'm seeing so much hate and nastiness from animal (so-called) "lovers" that I don't see them as any better than those that promote dog fighting.
Posted by: charley42 | August 14, 2009 6:21 AM

What a truly asinine comment! Vick's defenders are trying anything to rationalize what he did. We are animal lovers, which is why Vick's sadistic, barbaric, savage, subhuman torture and murder of those dogs make us sick.

Is that so difficult to comprehend?

Posted by: obx2004 | August 14, 2009 12:53 PM

Double down on this one, folks. Vegas is going to have a ball this season. Luck will not be the lady this go around.

Posted by: louisewilson1 | August 16, 2009 4:38 PM

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